This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
Trays. It is advisable to have trays of good size, so that if you want to make large prints you will be equipped for such work. The hypo trays, especially, should be several inches larger than the prints to be finished. These trays you can readily make yourself. To do this, simply make a wooden tray and cover on the inside with oil, coach, or gossamer rubber-cloth. By folding the corners you can get a nice fit. Allow the cloth to come over the outside edges and tack with nickeled carpet tacks, tacking on the outside of the tray-never on the inside-as the tacks when wet might rust, and the rust will cause stains when they come in contact with the print.
660. When prints are made as large as 16 x 20 inches the hypo tray should be at least 20 x 24 inches. Mark this tray "Hypo Tray," and use it for nothing else. It is a good plan to have two different size trays for developing, 11 x 14 for small and medium-size work, and 20 x 24 for the larger sizes. Mark these trays "Bromide Developing Trays." While hard rubber trays are the best to use tor developing, yet one can make his own developing trays as well as hypo trays. Never use trays intended for developing for anything else and when making your own trays, before tacking the cloth to the tray it is a good plan to apply a heavy glue paste to the inside of the tray, and then to lay the oil-cloth in the box and press it down evenly on the bottom and sides. Fold the corners nicely and you will have a perfectly smooth tray.
Developing. After you have exposed a piece of paper place it in a box where it is safe from the light and in no danger of being affected by moisture or water. A drop of water coming in contact with a piece of exposed Bromide paper will leave a white spot, for the developer will not act on the spot that is wet even if you take the trouble to dry it. If development is undertaken immediately, however, there is no apparent harm although it is best to be as careful as possible. Next, prepare your developer by diluting the stock solution according to the strength of the negative you are printing from. For normal strength negatives take, concentrated stock solution 1 oz., water 6 ozs.
For weak, thin negatives use 8 ozs. of water. A diluted solution gives more contrast, while a strong solution will give softer results. Prepare only sufficient solution to fully cover the print. Seven ozs. of developer is sufficient for 16 x 20 prints.
662. Next, carefully wash your developing tray and half fill it with water; then take your exposed paper and slide it under the water, face up (you are now, of course, working in the yellow light), and allow it to remain for a few minutes, or until it has become thoroughly wet, being careful to remove all air-bells, as they will cause white spots on the print. When the print is perfectly limp and lies flat, pour off the water and flow on your developer. Always use a circular movement when applying the developer to the paper, starting at the corner nearest the left hand and allowing the solution to spread over the entire print. This must be done quickly. The image should appear slowly and should develop up strong, clear and brilliant.
663. If you notice that there are parts of the print that seem to hold back in developing, which would be the case in a contrasty negative or when there is under-exposure, rub these parts very gently with your hand, as the warmth of the hand will cause the developer to act more readily.
EAST IS EAST AND WEST IS WEST Study No. ii-See Page 357 Wm. II. Phillips.
664. When your print is developed as far as you want it, or in other words, is done, or when the shadows are sufficiently black-and this is almost entirely governed by the exposure-pour off the developer and flow fresh water over the print. All this must be done very rapidly-quicker than it takes to tell it-as many good prints are spoiled by just a trifle over-developing, giving you a print which is too gray and dark.
665. In case of over-exposure add a few drops of a 10% solution of Bromide of Potassium directly to the developer. Be careful, however, that the Bromide does not come directly in contact with the print. Tip your tray so as to have the developer in one corner and add the Bromide; stir quickly with the hand, to thoroughly mix it with developer, and then allow it to flow back over the print.
666. After you have given the print a change of fresh water it is ready to place in the fixing-bath, which you have previously prepared according to the instructions. Slide your print into the tray, well under the surface of the bath, being careful to avoid air-bells, as these air-bells, if not removed, will cause yellow stains. If you have a number of prints slide each one under the preceding ones. In this manner you will have each and every print thoroughly covered with Hypo and you will obtain prints free from spots and stains. These should be handled over and over during the fixing, which will take about 20 minutes.
667. After they are fixed, place them in a tray of running water, being careful that the direct stream from the tap does not fall on the face of the prints, as this is liable to cause blisters and breaks in the paper. It is well to remember that a Hypo bath too strong, too cold, or too warm, is liable to cause blisters; also uneven temperature of baths and wash waters will have the same effect. A good remedy for blisters is to place the print, after it comes from the hypo, in a strong salt bath prepared as follows: 068. Formula for Salt Bath. -
a large handful
Dissolve thoroughly and immerse the prints in this bath for a few minutes, and then change to fresh water for final washing. A positive preventative for blisters will be found in the metabisulphite fixing bath. (See paragraph G58.)
Note: Clean dishes and clean hands are absolutely essential in producing perfect prints. The faintest trace of hyposulphite of soda or pyrogallic acid carried by the hands to the solution is fatal to good results; therefore one cannot be too careful to avoid any contamination.